Vary your workouts

Last week there was a report on the TV about a recent scientific experiment.  The participants ran on a treadmill for half an hour three or four days a week.  Their weights were recorded before and after the experiment.  I forget what they used as a control on the experiment.  The main point of the report was to say that most of the participants who ran on the treadmills did not lose any weight as a result of their exercise program.

Now I would like to start my commentary on the results of this experiment.  For the sake of argument, let us assume that the results are as valid as humanly possible.  Let us assume that there was a proper control for the experiment.  And let us assume that the experiment's results point out that steady treadmill running do not yield and measurable results. 

My first comment is that the treadmill was all these people did for exercise.  I would never advise anyone to only do formal workouts to stay fit and healthy, and possibly lose weight if they wanted to.  You should always walk as much as you can every day, whether or not you do a workout on that day.  Walk your dog.  Park as far as you can from the door when you shop.  Swim.  Keep moving. Now, back to the experiment.

If we make those assumptions, I can comment on them. If you do the same exercise routine day in and day out, week in and week out, your body will become accustomed to the stress from the same workout.  That is why it is important to vary both the exercise and exercises and the workout from day to day.  Keep your body guessing.  Do something different.  Then, every month or so, return to that workout and do it again and see if you can do more of it or do it faster.  That is how you measure your results.

There is nothing wrong with running on a treadmill.  But I think it is harder to actually run on real land.  My favorite way of running is in intervals.  That way you can run faster for shorter distances, then rest by walking.  The walking allows your body to go into a mini-recovery mode for a short while.  Then you come back hard again with the running or sprinting.

This can be done also with lifting exercise sandbags.  You can lift them a few times, walk around the room or porch, and lift them again.  I do this often with low reps of clean and jerks using a large sandbag.  It can be done with any sandbag exercise or workout.   For that matter, it can be done with any exercise device.

So, what ever you do, do not do the same thing day after day.   Do something different every day you work out.  MIx it up.  Keep your body guessing.  Surprise your body and muscles.  They will be forced to adapt to the constantly changng workouts you throw at it.  And, if weight loss is your goal, you will have better success at reaching that goal.   Here's to your health.  Here's to your fitness.   Keep it safe, keep it fun.  But most of all, keep it varied, and constantly changing to make the most of your exercise experience. Here are some more tips for sandbag training.

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